A New Era of Football Coming for the German Giant
A Bayern Munich transition is well underway. The club is currently undergoing a transformation in order to remain an elite team while entering a new era following the pandemic.
The German giant might be in progress of transforming themselves from what they once were, one of Europe’s elites who were willing to spend millions of Euros in the transfer window, to a more modest one. The world pandemic apparently has hit them quite hard as they lost approximately 150 to 200 million Euros in their revenue. As a result, they have been unable to do what they normally did in the past, sign marquee players, extend contracts with lucrative deals for a longer term, and rob their contenders’ key figures.
The era when they could sign Lucas Hernandez for ₤72 million from Atletico, buy Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery in their prime or snatch Dortmund’s stars Matts Hummels, Mario Gotze or Stuttgart’s talent Benjamin Pavard for more than ₤30 million seems to be over. This might be a bad news for Die Roten’s fans.
Their transformation, in fact, can be already seen in 2021/22 season. FC Hollywood is reportedly unwilling to meet Robert Lewandowski‘s expected salary rise, which could lead to the Poland international’s early exit. They did strive to keep Niklas Süle, were not quick enough to sign Gladbach’s Denis Zakaria in the winter transfer window, lost the chance to offer Chelsea’s Andres Christensen. They even have not improved the offer to one of their main men in the squad, Serge Gnabry.
Bayern Munich Transition Post-Pandemic Era
Bayern’s New Transfer Policy
One of the bold changes in Bayern Munich lately is their reluctance to sign players with high salaries or deemed too expensive Denis Zakaria was not the only one. Their target for defensive reinforcement, Freiburg’s Nico Schlotterbeck was another one. The 22-year old center back has been Julian Nageslmann’s preferred signing in this transfer window. Yet, the club was too long too respond. Eventually, he ended up moving to Dortmund. They also failed to lure Erling Haaland to Bavaria, something which might have been unlikely in the past. Another Nagelsmann’s target, Toulouse’s youngster, Amine Adli was also rejected by their Sporting Director, Hasan ‘Brazzo’ Salihamidzic as he was considered unsuitable for the team.
So, who are well-suited players according to Bayern’s management? Their CEO, Oliver Kahn, seems to have the answer for this as he made a statement regarding their targets.
“Character is very important for me. Mentality, the ability to win in all conditions is a decisive factor. The players have to deal with the entitlement to win every single game. Not everyone can do that. We need players who know what it means to put the Bayern badge on their chests. Finding such players is getting difficult. We don’t need players who see the club as a ‘platform’ to spend a short time and then leave.”
This is probably the reason why they turned to young players such as Ajax’s Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch. The former has agreed to sign the contract while the latter is still holding talks.
Furthermore, due to their limited budget, Bayern Munich has been more cautious in approaching their targets. Instead of making an offer right away, they appear to be waiting for the available funds from sales before signing a new star. Sasha Kalajdzic’s case may be the most recent example. The Austrian international who has been linked to Bayern after Lewandowski’s rejection to the new offer, has been rumored to set his sight to Dortmund instead. The Stuttgart man believed that he would have bigger chance to play regularly than in Allianz Arena. Their wait-and-see policy could cost another target loss again, despite no confirmation from Die Borussen yet.
Probable Tactical Changes
Another change which might take place in the foreseeable future, either this upcoming season or next one is the possibility of new tactics and formation on the pitch. Bayern’s boss, Julian Nagelsmann has been attempting to employ this in 2021/22 season with the switch to 3-2-4-1 or 3-4-2-1 from the regular 4-2-3-1. Unfortunately, it did not always go well as expected.
One of the reasons beyond such failure was the lack of versatile players or the ones who could take up new positions successfully in the squad. Lewandowski was the one who felt dissatisfied with his current performance. Although he still managed to score more than 40 goals last season, Lewy lacked of long shots from outside the box, something he has not been used to. In the past few years, Bayern has always been in favour of 4-2-3-1, which allows the Poland captain to shine as a poacher in the six yard box, whereas in Nagelsmann’s system, a striker is expected to be more mobile, quick, capable of creating chances, and clinical in their finish. Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane fit the role better, but they both struggle with consistency.
Robert Lewandowski finished the season on his highest ever xG total in a league season at 37.92xG.
One thing Nagelsmann has always been good at is getting the best out of his strikers. pic.twitter.com/M1b27l6VLM
— Connor (@ExtraAnalysis) May 25, 2022
This is the change yet to happen but Nagelsmann is definitely very keen on revamping the squad with more versatile players and younger figures. He might have had the luxury of doing so in Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig as he gained full support from his clubs. However, in Bayern, he faces the biggest hurdle, Salihamidzic. They were said to have disagreement regarding the signing targets. Nagelsmann tends to rotate the squad, change formation quite frequently in his previous teams whereas in Die Roten, it is not as easy. His preference for three at the back does not even seem to please Brazzo.
It will be interesting to see if Nagelsmann can finally build the team he expects or still have to compromise with the sporting director again in this transfer window. Only time can tell whether he can guide the change or if the 34-year old manager will be the victim of Bayern Munich transformation.